Sunday

25th Feb 2018

'No indication' VW used EU loans to cheat

  • Hoyer: "As far as we know – and we have investigated very, very thoroughly – our loans to Volkswagen have not been abused." (Photo: Dave Pinter)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) found no indication that its loans to German carmaker Volkswagen have been used to fund development of diesel cars involved in the emissions cheating scandal.

“We have not found any indication that our loans might have been used for fraudulent purposes,” said EIB chief Werner Hoyer at a press conference on Tuesday (24 January).

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“As far as we know – and we have investigated very, very thoroughly – our loans to Volkswagen have not been abused.”

After the Volkswagen Group admitted cheating on emissions tests in September 2015, the EIB began an investigation into whether any of its loans to VW had been used to fund the cheating software.

At a press conference in January 2016, Hoyer said he could not exclude the possibility of a link between a €400 million EIB loan to Volkswagen signed in 2009 and the emissions fraud.

On Tuesday, Hoyer repeated the bank was “disappointed” by Volkswagen's actions, considering the many VW projects EIB funded.

Also, because of the EIB's “commitment” to tackling climate change, “you want to be associated with partners who stick to their promises”.

Hoyer noted that there were no loans to VW “in the pipeline”, and that he did not expect any to be negotiated “in the foreseeable future”.

Last July, the EIB president said that lending may become more expensive for the firm.

He did not repeat that on Tuesday, although he did confirm that lending criteria “will be stricter”.

“Since we have learned, we are going to be more open-eyed than ever,” said Hoyer.

Car companies wanting a loan from the EU bank, can expect further scrutiny.

“We have learned the hard way," he said. "We are looking at all our corporate partners. One would have to be naive not to see that beyond Volkswagen other companies might be affected as well, so we are approaching this with open eyes.”

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